It was classic Bayern Munich as they did what was expected of them, dispatching Hertha Berlin 4-1 at the Olympiastadion.
Goals from Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry were enough to take away the three points that Julian Nagelsmann’s side’s dominance had deserved.
They should have had the lead in the opening seconds of the game as Tolisso turned home a Muller cross from deep only for VAR to intervene, but he did get open his and Bayern’s tally with a stooping header on 25 minutes, sneaking in between Dedryck Boyata and Marton Dardai to make it 1-0.
Muller doubled the lead on the stroke of half time after a simple set-piece delivery from Joshua Kimmich had the home defence scrambling, and Muller, unmarked, diverted beyond Alexander Schwolow into the far corner.
Sane capitalised on a mistake between Linus Gechner and Schwolow to make it three with 15 minutes to go, and Gnabry went steaming through for four as Bayern threatened to run riot.
Hertha had their (half) chances. Ishak Belfodil had a header saved comfortably by Manuel Neuer and Myziane Maolida hashed a shot high and wide, but the hosts kept pressing forwards, and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp got the better of a melee with Neuer to lift a shot over the flailing goalkeeper and give the home side a consolation.
Sane thought he got himself a second with a rocket from range, but ultimately saw it chalked off at the death as VAR intervened, pulling it back for a handball.
Nagelsmann will be happy with this win, and hope to build on the three points that take Bayern six points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit. More needs to be done, though, with the Champions League looming in the distance.
TALKING POINT – NO STOPPING THEM NOW
Steam-rolling their way through the league and everyone that stands before them is just customary for Bayern.
Nagelsmann can afford to name two out-and-out wingers as makeshift wing-backs in an all-out attack system, safe in the knowledge that his side can, and will outscore any domestic opponent they face.
It was on full show here: the quality of player between the two sides was night and day, as shown by the goals scored as well.
Bayern created chance after chance throughout the 90, leaving the hosts chasing nothing but shadows.
MAN OF THE MATCH – LEROY SANE, BAYERN MUNICH
I really wanted to give it to Schwolow, but you can’t really give it to a goalkeeper who’s just conceded four.
The (would have been two-goal) hero, playing in a less-familiar central role, the former Manchester City man had the freedom to roam wherever he fancied, popping off shots from distance, he was a constant thorn in the side of Hertha, who struggled to deal with his directness, pace and off-the-ball movement, and he was a central piece to all good that came of Bayern’s attacking play.
A solid display from the best of a brilliant bunch of Bavarians
Hertha: Schwolow 8, Pekarik 5, Gechter 5, Boyata 6, Dardai 5, Tousart 6, Darida 6, Mittelstadt 6, Maolida 5, Serdar 5, Belfodil 6, Subs: Plattenhardt 5, Bjorkan 5, Ascacibar 5, Jovetic 6, Ekkelenkamp 7.
Bayern: Neuer 6, Kimmich 7, Pavard 6, Sule 6, Hernandez 6, Tolisso 7, Gnabry 7, Muller 7, Sane 8, Coman 7, Lewandowski 7, Subs: Richards 6, Sabitzer 6, Upamecano 6, Musiala 6, Wanner 6.
2′: GOALLLL!!! Already! Bayern take the lead, and Corentin Tolisso nets after a cross from Muller from deep. Questions of offside… // NO GOAL! It’s ruled out for offside; quite rightly. But a rude awakening for the hosts who will now realise what they’re in for today.
25′: GOALLL!! Finally Bayern have their goal – Tolisso has his goal! Stooping low to divert the Coman inswinger beyond Schwolow, and Bayern have that deserved lead.
45′: GOALLL!!! Kimmich’s teasing delivery is flicked into the far corner by Thomas Muller, although the defensive line was at sixes and sevens and there are calls for offside, but the assistant is not interested in the protests and Bayern double their money on the stroke of half time.
74′: GOALLL!!! Oh no! A terrible mix-up between Gechter and Schwolow is capitalised on by Sane, and he pokes home for three!
79′: GOALLLL!!! Another!! Serge Gnabry this time running free down the right, and lifts it over Schwolow for a healthy fourth. Game over.
81′: GOOALLLL!!! Instant impact! Ekkelenkamp lifts the ball beyond a flailing Neuer as the hosts get one back!
88′: GOALLLLL!!!! More Bayern pressure… Musiala… just evades Sabitzer… but Sane from range this time… WOW!!!! What a goal!!!! // GOAL DISALLOWED! The goal won’t count! Handball!